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J.Jill swings to Q2 loss


Women’s apparel retailer J.Jill posted a loss in its second quarter, but still managed to top analysts’ earnings and sales expectations.

Net income decreased to a loss of $96.7 million, or $2.21 per share,  for the quarter ended Aug. 3, from income of $10.5 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted net income was a loss of $2.2 million, or $0.5 a share,  compared to adjusted net income of $10.7 million last year. Analysts had expected adjusted losses of $0.9 a share.

Total sales increased to $180.7 million, better than the Street expected,   versus $179.7. Total comp sales, which includes comparable store and direct to consumer sales, decreased 1.2%. Direct-to-consumer net sales represented 42.6% of total net sales, compared to 40.9% in the  year-ago period.

“In the second quarter, we took necessary steps to address the challenging start we had to this year,” said Linda Heasley, president and CEO, J. Jill. “We completed an evaluation of our infrastructure to increase efficiencies and took actions to begin right-sizing our organization. We continue to balance our on-hand inventory levels, while remaining focused on customer experience and product. We have made progress, and there is still more work to be done.”

Heasley added that the chain saw improved full-price selling during the summer months and maintained positive traffic for the quarter.

“We have also further utilized customer insights to assist in reviewing the floorsets for the coming months and we look forward to continuing to improve our go to market processes while enhancing the strong foundation on which the brand is built,” she said.

J. Jill operates more than 280 stores nationwide.

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